In two successive winters (2009 and 2010), 14 hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) samples showing unusual symptoms were surveyed in permanently irrigated seasonal vegetable gardens along the Blue Nile in central Sudan (specifically in Gezira State). Symptoms included leaf curling, leaf deformation, reduced leaf size, leaf puckering, interveinal yellowing, vein clearing, or yellow patches. Total RNA was extracted from symptomatic leaves and analyzed by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR with degenerate primer pairs that amplify different viral species within the family Luteoviridae (1). Amplification of a 340-bp fragment of the coat protein gene (CP) was obtained in all the collected samples analyzed. The amplified fragments were purified and sequenced (Accession Nos. KC685313 to 26), showing 99, 97, and 95 to 99% nucleotide identities to Pepper yellows virus (PYV, accession no. FN600344 from Turkey), Pepper vein yellows virus (PeVYV, AB594828 from Japan) and Pepper yellow leaf curl virus (PYLCV, HM439608 from Israel), respectively. These three viruses belong to the genus Polerovirus and are considered synonyms of the same virus species PeVYV described with those names in different countries (3). Two samples were also tested by RT-PCR with the general Polerovirus primer pair Pol-G-F and Pol-G-R, which amplified a 1.1-kb product spanning the 3′ half of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) to the 5′ half of CP and movement protein (2). The amplified fragments (KC692834 and KC692833) showed 97, 96, and 95% nt identity with PYV (FN600344), PeVYV (JX427533), and PYLCV (HM439608), respectively. The presence of the recently described Polerovirus PeVYV is the first report of detection in pepper in Sudan. PeVYV has recently been identified in seven other countries (India, Indonesia, Mali, the Philippines, Spain, Taiwan, and Thailand) and on one new host, Solanum nigrum, which suggests this new Polerovirus species poses a potentially wide geographical distribution and a global threat for pepper crops (3,4).
References: (1) A. D. Abraham et al. Afr. J. Biotechnol. 7:414, 2008. (2) D. Knierim et al. Plant Pathol. 59:991, 2010. (3) D. Knierim et al. Arch. Virol. 158:1337, 2013. (4) F. Villanueva et al. Plant Dis. 97:1261, 2013.
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